Indie Discovery – Mutant Gangland

I will forever be chasing the ‘perfect’ Turn Based Strategy game. The only game to come close in recent years has been the XCOM series. The closest any game has come to reaching chess-like perfection is the venerable Advance Wars series.

However, that series is dormant and I don’t foresee it being awakened any time soon. Thankfully, Indie Developers are always making the games they want to play, and @Zapakitul & @ThomasNoppers come to my rescue by making a game we all want to play.

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Mutant Gangland is a turn-based strategy game in the style of the original Advance Wars games. You must capture buildings to generate income, which allows you to create new units each turn. A game is won when you destroy the opposing team via eliminating all their units/captured buildings.

It’s a simple premise but even though the game is currently a very early Alpha build, there’s depth to the strategy which illustrates the potential in the finished game. There are only a few different types of units available, and the differences between the Robots and Mutant’s are subtle at the moment. I cannot wait for the games final release because the multiplayer potential for this game across mobiles, tablets and PC’s is huge, especially once more units and ‘Heroes’ are plugged into the game.

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The art style is also fantastic; brilliant pixel art brings the mutants and robots alive. Each square of terrain manages to communicate a wasteland future with a surprising vibrancy, simplicity and character.  The combat, despite lacking any complex animation or flair, is satisfying to take part in as each attack has weight given to it by the sound design and wonderful, blocky art style.

Like I said, the game is still very early on in development and the dev’s have taken the risky route of selling access to the game early in order to get feedback and fund development. From their website, the current Alpha features are as follows:

  • Eight maps (seven normal battles, one skirmish map)
  • Two factions, ten units (five / faction)
  • Eight commander profiles available (with stats and bonuses)
  • A level editor for custom maps
  • Player vs AI/AI vs AI + local multiplayer matches (hotseat mode)
  • DRM free for all platforms (Windows/Linux/Mac and Android)
  • Source available for non-commercial use

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Interestingly, the developers have released the game’s source code for non-commercial use; this suggests both freedom to mod the game or even assist in its development and testing for those so inclined. It’s an interesting route to take, and one I hope pays off!

Other features in the pipeline for the near future are:

  • Commanders as playable units on the battlefield (think heroes in games such as Warcraft 3).
  • Campaign/Story Mode
  • Online Multiplayer
    • PC to PC
    • Mobile to Mobile
  • More units and abilities.

Naturally, I can’t do a full review at the moment because the game is very unfinished; however, the prospect of multiplayer on my Android tablet and a great campaign mode has me extremely excited about the future of Mutant Gangland.

If you like the look of the game and want to get in on the action early, buy the game from here for €3.99. The developers are also super friendly and happy to chat about the game, so get in touch with ’em on Twitter!

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